[Solved]-Customize Django admin index page to display model objects


I wanted the same functionality for my site and added it by doing slight modifications to the core django system.

Step 1:
First we need a way to indicate which models should have their properties listed. Add the following code to the models for which you want the instances listed (in models.py):

class Meta:
    list_instances = True

Step 2:
We need to modify Django to recognize and read this new attribute. In core-django file: db/models/options.py, roughly at line 22 append ‘list_instances’ to DEFAULT_NAMES:

DEFAULT_NAMES = ('verbose_name', 'verbose_name_plural', 'db_table', 'ordering',
             'unique_together', 'permissions', 'get_latest_by',
             'order_with_respect_to', 'app_label', 'db_tablespace',
             'abstract', 'managed', 'proxy', 'auto_created', 'list_instances')

and in the same file, roughly at line 52, create a default field for this attribute right after the other attributes :

self.list_instances = False

Step 3:
We need to pass this information along to the template that generates the index page. In core-django file: contrib/admin/sites.py, inside index() method and inside the “if has_module_perms:” part, add the following code:

instances = []
if (model._meta.list_instances == True):
    instances = model_admin.queryset(None)

This will create the list of instances to show, but only if the list_instance attribute is set. In the same file, a few lines further down, append these values to the “model_dict” construct.

model_dict = {
    'name': capfirst(model._meta.verbose_name_plural),
    'admin_url': mark_safe('%s/%s/' % (app_label, model.    __name__.lower())),
    'perms': perms,
    'instances': instances,

Step 4:
The final step is to modify the template to support this. Either edit the core-django file /contrib/admin/templates/admin/index.html or copy this file to the templates/admin/ directory of your specific app. Add a few lines after the standard code for generating rows to generate the “sub-rows” if applicable. Roughly at line 40, right between “/tr>” and “{% endfor %}”:

{% if model.list_instances %}
    {% for instance in model.instances %}
        <td colspan="2" style="padding-left: 2em;">{{ instance }}</td>
        {% if model.perms.change %}
            <td><a href="{{ model.admin_url }}{{ instance.id }}/" class="changelink">{% trans 'Change' %}</a></td>
        {% else %}
        {% endif %}
    {% endfor %}
{% endif %}

This will cause the item to be listed with the name generated by the unicode() method in the model.

Step 5:
Lo and behold! It should look something like this:

enter image description here

Optional Step 6:
If you want the instance names to be clickable too, just change the template (index.html) and replace:

<td colspan="2" style="padding-left: 2em;">{{ instance }}</td>


<td colspan="2" style="padding-left: 2em;">        
    {% if model.perms.change %}            
        <a href="{{ model.admin_url }}{{ instance.id}}">{{ instance }}</a>
    {% else %}
        {{ instance }}
    {% endif %}


UPDATE Setomidor answer for django 10

Always great to come back to this clean solution!

step 2 – it is around line 125 (was 52)

step 3 – in sites.py – update the new method –


inside the for loop : for model, model_admin in models.items():

add step 3 as said around lines 430 and 460

instances = []

if (model._meta.list_instances == True):
    instances = model_admin.get_queryset(None)


You can do this by changing the various admin templates – the root one is called app_index.html and controls what gets displayed there. The best way to investigate what’s happening where is to install django-debug-toolbar and then look at the templates being used for each view to figure out how to customise.

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